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Police Brutality Trial Continues in Durham

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Craig's face was visually swollen after the alleged beating.
DURHAM — An expert consultant working for Reginald Craigsays no police officer anywhere should ever use a metal flashlight to hitsomeone unless that officer's life in endangered.

Fred Robinette demonstrated how heavy and dangerous a typical policeflashlight is during the first day of testimony in a police brutalitytrial involving the Durham Police Department.

Two times in as many months, Durham's officers have been compelled to defend their actions on the job. Reginald Craig of Durham claims twopolice officers roughed him up ending a routine traffic stop withviolence. Officer J.R. Cleary and another former officer say they wereacting in self defense.

Although the officers aren't willing to comment on the case, Craig's toldWRAL there is more to the story.

The City of Durham has just settled another police conduct case out ofcourt for $295,000. Now a jury is being asked to decide if the officersengaged in brutality.

One witness says she saw no reason why two officers beat Reginald Craigon October 16, 1994. She witnessed the beating from her bedroom window.Attorneys for the two officers say the woman could not have seen exactlywhat happened in the early morning darkness, and claim that she gaveconflicting statements in pre-trial affidavits.

High profile witnesses like former police chief Jackie McNeill have yetto testify.

The witness who took the stand Thursday claims the police neverquestioned her about her story. The officers' attorney says she's havingtrouble keeping her story straight.

Testimony in this case is expected to continue for about two weeks.

andKerrie Hudzinski

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